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Friday, 2 March 2012

Book Review: Anna Dressed in Blood - Kendare Blake

Published August 30, 2011 by Tor Teen

Goodreads Description:
"Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story. . .

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life."
Ever since the release (and even before it), I've heard/read from many blogs out there that this was an amazing read with a plot that was bound to keep you glued to the book. Well, luckily, after waiting for what seemed like forever, I finally got my hands on a copy on this book. And I must say that what is being said about this book is definitely true.

Though I'm not a horror-genre fan, I do enjoy the aspects of a suspenseful thriller. Anna Dressed in Blood didn't quite fulfill my expectations of the genre, but I still must say that it was a very interesting read.

The story starts out with Thesus Cassio Lowood (AKA "Cas"), our hero, on a trip to hunt down a hitchhiker, but soon enough, we learn that this hitchhiker is no average wayfarer. In fact, this person is already dead. However, after dying a tragic death, the hitchhiker's ghost makes it his mission to murder everyone in the same manner that he died in. As a result, Cas, the so-called "ghost buster" comes in and kills the ghost.

It wasn't thoroughly explained in the book, but Cas' bloodline contains a rare ability to see and kill the dead. And after having lost his father to one, Cas has sworn to get even and is training in every possible way to take down his father's killer. In the meantime, as ironic as it sounds, he kills the dead for a living.

When I first read the summary of the book, I was really excited to learn about Anna, the vengeful ghost who haunts her house and forbids anyone to leave alive, with the exception of Cas. Why was she different compared to the other ghosts that Cas had hunted? What made her unable to move on? So many questions, which piqued my curiosity and made me pick up the book. Well, that and the hundred or so reviews putting a good word for this book. What I enjoyed most about this book was the fact that those who died a gruesome death came back to take more victims in the same manner that they kicked off. As wrong as it sounds, I found it to be a very interesting plot.

While there wasn't a whole lot of character development, I did enjoy seeing Cas make some friends instead of being the loner that he was. Since he was always on the move, he didn't think it was important to make connections with others, other than getting the information about the ghosts that he needed to know. It was also nice to see him get his butt kicked around by Anna, to show that he still had a long way to go before tackling the one who killed his dad.

I found the book to be pretty unpredictable as I had previously guessed that Cas would spend the entire book trying to figure out what to do with Anna, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was wrong. There was a lot more that went on and gave the book more depth.

Source: Borrowed
My rating: 4 Coffee Cups (Enjoyed it immensely)

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